Amputee veteran gets Invictus Games place

Dave Henson competing in the T40,000 event last year

Dave Henson competing in the T40,000 event last year

The Falklands ceremony in Gosport

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FORMER army captain and double amputee Dave Henson MBE says he is delighted to be picked to take part in the Invictus Games.

Dave, from Whiteley, is part of a 110-strong team of personnel and veterans representing the UK at the games next month.

Prince Harry, centre, at Buckingham Palace in London at the unveiling of the UK team for the Invictus games 2016

Prince Harry, centre, at Buckingham Palace in London at the unveiling of the UK team for the Invictus games 2016

Prince Harry, patron of the Invictus Games Foundation, unveiled the team at Buckingham Palace this week.

The 31-year-old said: ‘Training for the Invictus Games in 2014 allowed me to see the potential in myself as an athlete, as well as to see the impact that the competition has on a wider audience, which has been fantastic for generating support in general for military causes.’

Dave’s legs were blown off when he stepped on an improvised explosive device while serving in Afghanistan in 2011.

He has a left leg through-knee amputation and an above knee right-leg amputation.

He competed in Team GB’s sitting volleyball exhibition match in the 2012 Paralympics and he was GB Captain at the Invictus Games in 2014, winning gold in the 200m IT2.

More than 180 wounded, injured and sick personnel and veterans tried out for a place on the UK team at the games, which are run by the Ministry of Defence, Help for Heroes, and the Royal British Legion.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: ‘Everyone selected for the UK team can be proud of what they have achieved.’

The team will compete in 10 sports: athletics, archery, wheelchair basketball, road cycling, powerlifting, indoor rowing, wheelchair rugby, swimming, sitting volleyball, and a new sport for 2016, wheelchair tennis.

The 2016 UK team captain is former army captain David Wiseman. He was shot when commanding a small British Infantry team embedded within the Afghan National Army in Nad-e Ali district, in Helmand province in 2009.

A bullet entered his shoulder and travelled the length of his torso and hit his ribs. The bullet came to rest in his right lung, where it is to this day.

He said: ‘The Invictus Games is a shining example of what this community can achieve, a group of individuals from around the world coming together in order to show everyone that beyond injury, they can achieve the extraordinary.’

The team launch also marked the official handover of the Invictus Games flag from Prince Harry to US team captain, Will Reynolds, signifying the handover from London to Orlando.

The Invictus Games 2016 are being held in Orlando, Florida at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex from May 8 until May 12.

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